The Empire is one of the playable races in the Disciples series. They consist of medieval humans with Christian-like beliefs and holy powers granted by their deity, the Highfather, God of Light and Grand Protector of the Empire, who sends his angels to aid the Empire. While it is the Highfather who protects humanity, ironically, it was the fallen angel Bethrezen who created the race over ten thousand years ago. Titans are allied to the Empire and fight on its side. Angel Myzrael has been entrusted by the Highfather to guard the Empire's capital with his mighty sword. Recommended for beginners.
An entire generation has been raised without knowledge of the Empire’s Golden Age, when their ancestors lived peacefully alongside the Mountain Clans, and there was harmony in every far-flung corner of the land. The Golden Age reached back long into the past, but for this generation, fed on fear, and lulled to an anxious sleep by the dire prophecies of the Elders, it is a mythical time.
“The accursed angel, riding his fiery steed, will curse the land, and the poisoned soil shall harvest beasts and demons.”
For this generation, these words mark the beginning of the Empire’s history. Everything before is a fantasy. Shortly after the Elders pronounced that the time of the prophecy was nigh, an infernal rift ripped through the length of the Empire. The “beasts and demons” of the prophecy poured forth. The Great Wars had begun. No strategies or tactics, no heroes, no glorious tales of battle have come down to us. Perhaps there were none. As the survivors tell it, it was only be sheer force of the Soul and Arm that the Empire succeeded in sealing the gate to Hell.
Now, ten long years have passed. Famine and plague ravage the once fastidiously tilled lands of the Empire. While the young people fashion new scabbards for their gleaming swords, the Elders merely look skyward, to the Highfather. Surely he would never allow such horrors to once again plague his favored land? But this favored land is now torn apart by internal strife. Petty nobles and brigand lords have established their own empires. Thousands of years in the making, the once proud and united Empire is but a distant memory. The King, having lost his consort and only son during the wars, languishes in self-imposed isolation in his castle’s highest tower.
What did the Highfather demand of his subjects? Blood, it seemed. For it is in these dire times that the unholy enemies of the Empire struck anew…
Beginning ten years after the last game, the Empire is on the verge of collapse. The Emperor, Demosthene, has been getting weaker since the death of his wife and the disappearance of his son, Uther. A number of nobles, seeing this as a sure sign that the Empire is in desperate need of a "competent" leader, have begun to build armies in order to conquer the lands for themselves. In particular, many of those nobles support the charismatic Hubert de Lalye who openly opposes Demosthene. As one of the few nobles still loyal to the Emperor, it falls to you to keep the Empire together in this time of darkness.
The creator of Nevendaar, the angel Bethrezen, gave birth to men; to him, they were the pinnacle of all his work. With their appearance in Nevendaar, the creation of the world was finally complete. Bethrezen gifted his children with the divine boon – the freedom of will; it was this gift that made them the most independent – but also the most unpredictable race in Nevendaar. This race is a perfect reflection of its creator's personality: the improbable and incomprehensible combination of the true light that once shone in Bethrezen's soul, and eternal darkness which now possesses the Fallen. That is why people are so different – you can never tell whether a man standing before you is the noblest of mortals, or if he is lower than a snake and will kill you for a copper as soon as you turn your back on him.
These days, men worship the Celestial Father and consider their former creator Bethrezen their worst enemy. They've always been very religious – and the duality of their nature is also well seen in their zeal. True faith is the power that guides the hands of the Empire's greatest warriors, holy knights and protectors of the faith; it helps the clerics to heal wounds and even push away death itself. And yet the same faith gives birth to fanatics, who are often more fearful to their people than their enemies. Men are the most disciplined race of Nevendaar, and they have produced many brilliant warriors and warlords. Also, they are second to none when it comes to healing and blessing those fighting at their side for the glory of the Empire.
The Empire has suffered much since the great wars. Emperor Demosthene is no more, and Emry and Ambrielle are finding it difficult to hold the divisive empire together. The Inquisition branch of the Church is as fervent and passionate as ever, and sees heresy everywhere. The sight of a comet streaking through the heavens and landing in Empire lands is taken as a sign of fortuitous prophecy. A young, as of yet still unremarkable, but well-thought of captain named Lambert is tasked with investigating the comet.
The Empire consists of units that are very simple and straight forward to use. Fighters in the front row, mages, archers, and healers in the back row. Their fighters are very powerful either offensively and defensively and their healers are flexible to heal all units or one for more effectiveness. Their units tend to have lower Hp than their counterparts. Empire spells are very protective in nature allowing you to ward attacks, heal your units, boost your unit stats, and scout your opponent. They only have a few offensive dammage spells and summoning spells.
- Mid combat healing
- Fast levelling units
- Flexible troops, with possible mind immunity
- Powerful defensive magic containing all wards
- Lowest HP pools in the game, generally frail troops
- Mediocre Damage potential
- Only two major damage sources Weapon and Air, (poison from the assasin)
A Word on Healing
The Empire's greatest asset is their mid-combat healing capability which distinguishes them from all the other races in the game (save the Elven Alliance in the expansion), you should use this to your advantage in every possible occasion you can. Without their mid-combat healing ability, the Imperial troops are simply too frail and will fall quickly.
The most notable difference between the two healing routes is that the "male" branch focuses on healing a single unit for a lot of HP to the top tier where the Hierophant can even resurrect unit mid-fight. Taking this route is suggested against hard hitting enemy troops like Mountain Clans and where you need more heroes with smaller number of units since a level 1 hero can only have 3 units taking the multi target healing route wastes 2 slots of healing. The "female" branch focuses on multi target healing the whole party for a smaller amount of HP and at the last tier the Prophetess can even remove negative afflictions like ploymorph, poison, paralysis. Taking this route is suggested against the Undead as they have a lot of multi target attacks and poisoning paralyzing units, and to a lesser extent the Legions when you know they are taking the polymorphing caster route and you do not want to take the Inquisitor route for fighters.
You can also spare quite a lot of resources with loop-healing. That means you should leave a single enemy alive in the end of the combat - preferably one with a non-damaging casting ability (like paralyze), or a melee attacker, that damages less than twice the amount of HP that you can heal per turn. Put your warrior / mage units to defense, and let your healers heal your troops up to their full HP, before striking down the last survivor. A note of warning: this can take quite a lot of time if the damaged and the healed amount of HP are close to each other, so it is not encouraged in multiplayer games.
Almost all of the Empire units from Disciples II return in the third incarnation of this series. The gameplay of this faction remains similar, and it is recommended for beginners. In fact, it is recommended to start the solo campaign with the Empire faction.
The Empire is no longer the only faction to have mid-combat healing however. To offset this, it has more varied offensive options. While still focused primarily on Air magic, the Empire also has access to units that use Earth magic (Titans), Water (Elementalists), and Poison (Imperial Assassin).
The Empire has quite an average range of Leaders. The Pegasus Knight is the only one who flies, but apart of that there's really not much to write home about.
- Pegasus Knight - Warrior Hero. Usual combat ability, HP and damage output.
- Ranger - Guildmaster Hero. Fast, single target leader, with the usual above-average movement points.
- Archmage - Mage Lord Hero. If you don't take a spellcaster unit with you, consider this leader, as you'll encounter weapon-immune units early in your campaign.
- Archangel - Rod Planter. This one heals a single friendly unit in the range of 40 HP (plus 5 HP/level). You can expect her to stand her ground only against single, not too strong opponents, like thieves, or so. Otherwise, you'll better put your warrior unit on the defense, and retreat with the Angel. It is however possible to level her up and turn her into a self-healing tank and your main hero that also can plant rods.
- Thief - thief, surprisingly. Nothing unusual beyond his normal abilities.
The HP and damage output is usually low compared to other species, but the mid-battle healing compensates for it. You just have to survive long enough to have anyone who can be healed in the end of the battle.
- Squire - Basic Fighter. With a meager 100 HP he's usually on the defense, while the tougher units mow down the enemy, or delivers the finishing blow against weakened targets.
- Witch Hunter - second level fighter unit in the Inquisitor branch. A tad fewer HP than the Knight branch, this one has a mind immunity, which comes quite handy, if you're expecting to fight against a lot of Mermaids, or Undead. It also counters against the Giant Spider's paralyze.
- Inquisitor - third level fighter, retaining the mind immunity, and keeping the lower HP stats compared to the Imperial Knight.
- Grand Inquisitor - fourth level fighter unit, which adds a nice fire warding to the mind immunity. Physically it is weaker than the Angel, and has no armour like the Paladin, but levels up quite fast (only 800 XP is needed). SPOILER! In the last mission of the Empire campaign Uther in his daemonic form has a strong, paralyzing attack. Mind Ward excludes Paralyze, but Inquisitors are immune to mind tricks altogether, so they can still hit him, when your other units have to stand still. SPOILER END.
- Knight - second level unit, more HP, more damage, no extra abilities.
- Imperial Knight - third level fighter, 33% more HP than the Inquisitor, but no special ability compared to the Squire.
- Angel - fourth level fighter, and a dead-end on the branch. An acceptable amount of HP and 125 points of damage, this one should be chosen if you want to level up quickly, and don't expect overly long brawls.
- Paladin - fourth level warrior, a bit weaker than the Angel, but has a respectable 30 armour.
- Holy Avenger - fifth level unit, with 2 attacks and 250 HP. The multiple attacks come handy, if you have a strong second line of mages and archers, or a leader, who can make a devastating alpha-strike, and the Avenger only has to finish off the survivors. Otherwise, I suggest you to take the Defender of the Faith instead.
- Defender of the Faith - fifth level warrior unit. An ideal candidate for "tanking" damage. 225 HP, and a 30 armour value, retained from the Paladin. Add a Holy Shield and/or a defensive Banner, a few healers, and your frontline will shrug off all but the most determined attacks. Most important, he has a whopping 70 Initiative, which outpaces most of the other warrior units. Watch out for damages that bypass armour save though (i.e. Poison, Frostbite). Enemies, who have weapon immunity, or can hurt your healers beyond your Defenders, can also ruin your day.
Empire Mage units revolve around air-based attacks. They begin to show their teeth only around level 3-4, but they can be life saving against opponents with weapon immunity.
- Apprentice - basic mage unit, with weak attack. As any mage, its attack hits the entire opposing party.
- Mage - second level magician, whose damage output is on the same level, as your level 1 Mage Lord Hero.
- Elementalist - third level mage unit. I wholeheartedly discourage you to take this dead-end choice. The elementalist has no attack on its own, and can only summon Air Elementals. Those fighters with their 100 HP are mediocre at best, and cannot attack in the turn they've been summoned. Also, destroying the summoner will destroy the summoned creatures as well.
- Wizard - a solid third level choice, with a somewhat low HP, which will lead you to the...
- White Wizard - fourth level mage, with a strong attack, but somewhat less HP than the other level 4 mages. Still, it is almost mandatory to take him with a fighter hero.
- Titan - Support unit. This one has a respectable HP and damage, but eats up 2 space in any party. Hence, I usually use her in city defense.
Ranged Attack UnitsEdit
You might have great front-line troops, and fighter heroes, but sometimes they're just not enough. If the enemy has a strong front row, your only chance will be the units who can reach any target, and not just the adjacent ones.
- Archer - basic archer unit, few HP, average damage output, good initiative.
- Ranger - second level ranged unit, the very same can be said about it, as for the Archer. The basic, 40 points of damage is more appealing, 2 of them are capable of destroying a mage leader with ease, before he/she could cast the spell.
- Imperial Assassin - third level ranged attack unit. It levels up quite fast, and can prove to be extremely dangerous with its poison ability (save for Undead, but don't forget, not all of their units are immune to death-based damage). Two of them make quick work even on higher level heroes too.
The bread and butter of the Empire, healers not just heal up your units during the battle. They also have the secondary benefit of allowing you to proceed faster on the map, by eliminating the need of returning to the cities for healing or reviewing your units. One is almost mandatory for any party. However, I do not recommend more than two, as you'll need fighters to eventually win the day.
- Acolyte - your basic healer, build a second-level structure to make them advance as soon as possible.
- Priest - this second level unit is the first stage on the "single-healer" branch. Heals twice as many as the Cleric upon a single target.
- Imperial Priest - third level unit, with a sizeable boost for its healing.
- Hierophant - this fourth level support unit is capable of healing any, badly wounded ally, as well as resurrecting dead party members. However, if you encounter with multiple-targeting models, they will usually finish off your Hierophant, before he could help on a fallen member.
- Cleric - second level unit, heals as much as the Acolyte, but on the entire party.
- Matriarch - third level support unit. The healing ability of 40 points doesn't look too much compared to the Imperial Priest's 80, but it also cures paralyze, frostbite and poison.
- Prophetess - fourth level unit, with an excellent, 70 points healing capacity. If you have two, level 5 Prophetess in your party, and can produce at least 50% armour protection, you might as well attack an enemy capital, as even a boosted guardian damages less on your troops than you can heal.
The Empire has only 2 summoned units, which are usually used for harassing rod planters and thieves, form a preemptive strike, serve as road-blocks in a gap and speed bumps on the map, or probe a city's defense, if you don't have a thief nearby.
- Living Armour - with the mind and poison immunity this creature is the bane of rod planters ot the Legion and the Undead Hordes. With an above average initiative it can also soften up tougher units, making it easier for your party to destroy.
- Earth Elemental - though deceivingly weak, this one sports 50 armour value, and immunity for poison and earth-based damage. The 70 points of earth damage against the whole party with an initiative of 70 is nothing short of stellar.